Richard Gere voices Tibet concern at Seoul exhibition
SEOUL—Hollywood star Richard Gere on Wednesday voiced concern at what he called torture and killing in Tibet, during a visit to South Korea to promote an exhibition of photos he took in the Himalayan territory.
Gere said some of the images in the exhibition illustrated what he called the political oppression faced by his “Tibetan brothers and sisters”.
The “Pretty Woman” and “Chicago” actor is a longtime campaigner for the rights of Tibetans and a vocal critic of the Chinese government’s treatment of Tibetan independence activists.
“I think it’s impossible to look at these photographs and not realise the extraordinary suffering of the Tibetan people,” he said.
One photo shows several drawings depicting the torture of Tibetan nuns by Chinese authorities.
Gere said he found the drawings on the wall of a convent in Dharamshala, the Indian city where Tibet’s government in exile is based.
He said he took the photograph in 1998 or 1999.
“The same kind of torture, the same kind of deaths… in Chinese prisons in Tibet are still taking place today,” said Gere, who appeared before Congress early this month to urge greater US support for Tibetan rights.
The actor, a convert to Buddhism, on Tuesday toured the Jogye temple in central Seoul, the headquarters of the religion’s biggest sect in South Korea, with his wife and son.